Photo: Graeme Edwards
UPPER YARRA MUSEUM
The Upper Yarra Museum is housed in and around the former Yarra Junction Railway Station (c.1888). The rail line between Lilydale and Warburton was opened in 1901 and the station building was relocated from Lilydale to Yarra Junction in 1913. After the last train completed the journey in 1965, the Upper Yarra Valley Historical Society took over management of the then-derelict buildings.
Local history themes such as rail, timber, agriculture, gold, domestic life, transport, and tourism are represented at the Museum in the form of structures, artefacts, documents, photos and digitised material.
The focus of the collection is in keeping with the Historical Society’s original intention, and with the current Collection Policy which states "The Museum will collect objects … which relate to, were used in, or are representative of objects used in, the Upper Yarra Valley".
The Museum’s greatest treasure is the restored Heritage station building. It is a delight; the fresh paint glistens and the new red oxide roof, chimney pot and finials all enhance the exterior. Inside the walls are painted in Victorian Railway shades of dark leather, light leather, stone with off white trims and the Baltic floors from 1888 are truly magnificent. The windows have been exposed and the fireplaces revealed. The original station rooms have been renamed and house both permanent and rotating exhibitions.
The two other Heritage buildings include VR No 320, a Departmental residence relocated from the Sandringham line (it was a gate house) now called the porters cottage. Two 2-man workers huts from the 1950’s Upper Yarra dam building site, the 1920s Powelltown police station, Yarra Junction lock-up, a bush shack and open, themed sheds (timber, tramways, gold, engines, machinery) as well as Bob Logan’s garage complete the visitor experience.
The Upper Yarra Museum is a community museum run by volunteers. All entry fees are used for the restoration and maintenance of the heritage site and conservation of the donated collection.
What visitors say about our Museum...
"The history, the memorabilias, the restored original buildings and collections dating back to the early 1900s was well worth the visit. The museum is runned by volunteers so absolute appreciation to the work they do out there. A must see, if you're heading pass this place enroute to Warburton. "
SIGNIFICANCE ASSESSMENT REPORT
“The Museum’s collection is historically significant for its representation of the wider story of timber milling in the region and in Victoria, the social and industrial history of the Upper Yarra region, and the evolution of a gold mining settlement into a thriving township, a dormitory suburb of metropolitan Melbourne and a semi-rural area. The collection has research significance to be found within its engineering blueprints and some components of its archival and photographic collection, while the original railway buildings that form the heritage precinct are representative of an important early 20th century railway station.”
This report was prepared for Upper Yarra Museum by Emma Russell, History AtWork, using a Community Heritage Grant from the Federal Government in 2011. A Significance Assessment was sought to provide UYVHS with information “about the value and meaning in their collection". This information has contributed to improved labelling, organisation, exhibiting, promotion and forward planning. (See Page 4, 'Statement of Purpose' in the report below for further explanations of benefits).